Edo timber dealers protest forest closure

Edo timber dealers protest forest closure, Vehicular and human movement were disrupted in Benin on Friday as members of the Edo State Timber Dealers Association took to the streets to protest the closure of the forest for seven months.

The protesters, comprising timber dealers, lorry drivers and sawmill workers associations with their lorries and placards bearing different inscriptions, blocked the ever-busy Ring Road (King Square) chanting solidarity songs and pleading with the Edo State Government to lift the seven months embargo on the forest.

They expressed sadness over the development, adding that 8,000 jobs were already threatened as a result of the closure of the forest.

Some inscriptions on the placards are, ‘Obaseki, over 8,000 persons are out of job’, ‘Gov Obaseki has stopped us from going to the bush, but the Chinese have taken over our bush’, ‘Gov Obaseki, open our bushes’, ‘We voted you not to suffer’, ‘We don’t deserve this punishment’, ‘Obaseki, what offence have we committed?’ among others

Speaking in Benin, the Secretary of Sawmill Dealers Association in the state, Dr. Nosa Abebonmsan, said, “Edo forests have been locked for seven months. The protest is to let the Governor Godwin Obaseki know that they are hungry and in debt because of loans they got from banks.
He said: “Our forests have been locked for seven months and nothing is happening. We are going around to let the governor know that we are hungry and in debt because of loans we collected.”

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